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  1. PCCL Owes An Explanation

    So there I was on a lazy Sunday afternoon watching the PCCL game between the Lasalle Green Archers and the Jose Rizal Bombers.

    I wanted to watch it for the simple reason that I wanted to see if Lasalle would be able to muster the roster that made the UAAP Final 4 this season.

    That's when I saw them.

    Ben Mbala, the highly touted 6'5" import out of Cebu, was doing the warm-up drills, along with 5'11" Joshua Torralba, formerly with the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals, the controversial 6'5" Daryl Pascual, formerly of San Beda, and 6'5" Larry Muyang, who came by way of San Sebastian then Lyceum.

    Over on the JRU side there was 6'5" import Abduladif Poutouchi.

    Lasalle would go on to win the game behind the nine points, 14 rebounds and one block of Mbala, withstanding a very late JRU rally instigated by Jordan De La Paz.

    But the game itself became a side feature. I wanted to know how all five of those newcomers came to play in the PCCL. I was texting and messaging back and forth with a couple of other media and basketball friends, and none of us could get to the bottom of it.

    Apparently Lasalle asked permission from the PCCL to field in their four newcomers, since all of them were already on their B Team, and had in fact seen action in the recently concluded Fr Martin Cup Division 2 ruled by Mapua B. I assume that means JRU asked for and was granted the same permission to field Poutouchi. Poutouchi also saw action with JRU B in the same Fr Martin tournament.

    Even if that is the case, my query still remains unanswered: Has there been a rule change in PCCL eligibility?

    Unfortunately Gameface has been unable to get a hold of Joe Lipa and Rey Gamboa, the two gentlemen who have been the moving forces behind the PCCL.

    Let me therefore just share some thoughts on this:

    I think Lasalle had to ask if they could field in their four newcomers simply because they might not have enough guys to field. Lasalle only fielded 14 guys on their regular UAAP roster for this season. Three of their main guys have used up their eligibility: Norbert Torres, Yutien Andrada, Almond Vosotros. Arnold Van Opstal apparently is done with Lasalle basketball even though he still has one more year of eligibility left. Two more valuable rotation guys are not on their PCCL roster - Julian Sargent and Jason Perkins, without a specific reason given. That leaves Lasalle with only eight guys, technically only half of a regular UAAP roster. That is most likely why they asked the PCCL to line up their B Team guys, i.e. to make up for such an obvious and massive personnel loss.

    I will assume this is the same case with JRU and Poutouchi, and most likely because their starting power forward Mike Mabulac might have been unable to compete as well. I don't remember seeing Mabulac in that game either.

    With this precedent, other teams will now presumably be allowed to field in their B Team players as replacement players, especially in the case of NCAA teams. NCAA teams allow their players to be drafted by the PBA while still playing in the NCAA, play out the remainder of the NCAA season, then go straight to the PBA right after the NCAA season ends, or their team is eliminated, whichever comes first. That means 6'4" import Donald Tankoua might be able to play for San Beda since the Semerad Twins and Kyle Pascual are now in the PBA. Too nad Perpetual Help has been eliminated already. They could probably have used their bull-strong 6'4" import Akouti Bright as a replacement for Harold Arboleda and Juneric Baloria, both of whom are now in the PBA too.

    For the UAAP, maybe hulking 6'9" import Prince Orizu can be tapped by Far Eastern to replace Karl Cruz, who has used up his UAAP eligibility. University of the East could line up TJ Sumang, to replace his older brother Roi.

    Of course with all of this replacement and substitution the main question remains: Is this still in keeping with the core principle of the PCCL? In its 11-year subsistence the Philippine Collegiate Champions League has always stuck to using only the regular-season lineup of all the teams invited to the tournament. It makes a lot of sense: use the guys you went to war with, especially if you won your league championship.

    What then are we to make of the PCCL seemingly going against its own core principle?

    If the PCCL is going with a mixed A and B Team concept, sorry to say the Fr Martin Cup has beaten them to it. The Fr Martin Cup Open Division held in the second semester is open even to A Team players, and schools normally send a mixed roster of their best B Team players with the end of their A Team bench.

    It's bad enough that the PCCL is not taken quite as seriously as it wants to be by the bigger schools, especially the ones based in Metro Manila. ...
    Tags: ncaa, pccl, uaap Add / Edit Tags
    Philippine Basketball
  2. La Salle Romps Away with PCCL Title

    And so it came to pass that reigning University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) titlist De La Salle University romped away with the 2013 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) crown in a best-of-three finals mismatch against Cebu powerhouse Southwestern University.

    The Green Archers simply outclassed the Cobras in two straight games – 64-54 in the series opener and 70-61 in the second game. Coach Juno Sauler’s troops were never seriously threatened in both contests as SWU played with no sense of urgency.

    To this Hoopster, the Cobras appeared to be already contented with a finals stint – only the second Cebu City unit in the PCCL’s 12-year existence to reach the championship round following the Greg Slaughter-bannered University of the Visayas’ 2007 finals appearance against champion Ateneo de Manila University.

    With due respect to the Cobras, at no time in the series did the cool and calm Sauler have push the “panic” button or burn the midnight oil for a crucial play. And neither did the DLSU faithful feel from the get-go that championship would not be falling into their team’s hands for the second time in PCCL annals.

    To most collegiate ball followers, the PCCL crown was already in the bag for the heavily-favored Green Archers even before the title series got underway.

    La Salle was simply the superior team and owned SWU’s number despite a 68-58 overtime loss to the Cobras at the start of the single-round Final Four. Before that (December 9) debacle, the listless Archers had not played an official game since the Green Archers defeated the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in the decisive Game Three of the 2013 UAAP finals on October 12.

    UAAP Finals Most Valuable Player Jeron Teng exemplified his team’s lethargic play as he shot 1-for-10 from the field and tallied a measly seven points.

    In contrast, SWU had been in action since the Southern Island qualifiers got underway on November 19, with the Cobras exacting sweet revenge against their Cebu School Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) finals tormentors the UV Green Lancers, in the segment finals to reach the national Final Four.

    Of course, the 6-2 multi-dimensional Teng out of Xavier School subsequently bounced back from that sub-par performance to propel the Green to their second major crown in two months with a brilliant two-game performance in the finals.

    Teng, who once scored 104 points in a Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association (MMTLBA) appearance on January 5, 2011 as a junior high-schooler at Xavier School, collected 18 points, six rebounds and five assists in Game One and 16 points, four boards and five dimes in Game Two.

    Deservedly so, the youngest son of former professional star Alvin Teng earned tournament MVP honors.

    Teng made it to the PCCL Mythical Five, along with teammates Jason Perkins and Almond Vosotros and former Green Archer Mark Tallo and African import Landry Sanjo from Southwestern University.

    For La Salle, the PCCL crown was its first since 2008 when it beat then-UAAP finals tormentor Ateneo in the finals.

    The country’s top collegiate team can rest on their laurels for a while and maybe months later, start preparing for the bigger challenges ahead – like a UAAP title repeat next year. The Green Archers’ UAAP arch nemesis, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, surely would want to know if La Salle is capable of handling prosperity.
    Tags: henry liao, pccl Add / Edit Tags
    Philippine Basketball

    It will be reigning University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) titlist De La Salle University vs. Cebu powerhouse Southwestern University for the best-of-three finals of the 2013 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) basketball competitions.

    On the third and final playdate of the single-round Final Four phase at the San Juan Arena Thursday afternoon – which turned out to be a pair of knockout games with finals slots at stake – the SWU Cobras dumped Far Eastern University, 86-71, and the DLSU Green Archers registered a come-from-behind 64-60 decision over reigning four-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion San Beda College to finish with identical 2-1 records and arrange a best-of-three titular showdown.

    With their losses, SBC and FEU slipped to 1-2 and fell out of finals contention. With the scrapping of the third-place game, the Tamaraws clinched the No. 3 spot outright by virtue of their 62-56 triumph over the Red Lions earlier.

    SWU, which is the second team from Cebu City to qualify for the PCCL finals following the Greg Slaughter-powered University of the Visayas in 2007 (where the Green Lancer lost to Ateneo de Manila University), broke away from FEU in the second quarter and never looked back after taking a 43-27 halftime lead.

    Four Cobras produced twin-figure scores – Monbert Arong, 23 points; African Landry Sanjo, 19 (and 15 boards); former DLSU guard Mark Tallo, 16; and Fil-foreigner Adams Mohammed, 15.

    Gryan Mendoza topped the Tams with 16 markers, followed by Carl Bryan Cruz, 15, and Mike Tolomia, 14, and American Anthony Hargrove, 10.

    La Salle trailed by five points, 58-53, before detonating a 9-0 bomb (five from Jeron Teng and two each from Jason Perkins and Almond Vosotros) to move ahead, 62-58, in the final minute. San Beda quickly closed the gap to two, 62-60, but Vosotros got the rebound off his own miss in the next DLSU possession and his subsequent mid-air pass to Perkins led to an easy twinner for a 64-60 win by the Green Archers.

    Teng shot 10-for-19 from the field and finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists for De La Salle. “Hefty lefty” Perkins registered a double-double with 15 scores and a game-best 14 boards. Vosotros added a dozen markers.

    Arthur Dela Cruz (19), Baser Amer (15) and Ola Adeogun (14) combined for 48 points for the Red Lions, who were outrebounded, 49-36, by the Green Archers.

    The best-of-three PCCL finals will unwrap on Monday, Dec. 16. The second game will be held the next day. If necessary, Game Three will be played on Thursday, Dec. 19. All games will be held at the San Juan Arena.

    During the single-round Final Four, Southwestern University upset La Salle, 68-58, in overtime.

    Tallo, who suited up for the Green during the 2012 UAAP season before hooking up with the Cobras in Cebu this summer, is seeking personal redemption as well as the bragging rights to be hailed as the national collegiate champion.
    Tags: henry liao, pccl Add / Edit Tags
    Philippine Basketball

    The Final Four roster for the 2013 Philippine Collegiate Champions League has been determined. And as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, a different champion will be crowned.

    Making up the four-team semifinal cast are the De La Salle University Green Archers, the reigning University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) champions; the San Beda Red Lions, the “four-peat” titlists from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); the Southwestern University Cobras, the winner of the Southern Islands qualifier from Cebu; and Far Eastern University Tamaraws, the winner of the Luzon-Metro Manila qualifier.

    The round-robin Final Four phase will unwrap on Monday, October 9, at the Blue Eagle Gym (it was named Loyola Center during the 1960s and 1970s) in Ateneo’s Katipunan, Quezon City campus. In the first game (2:00 p.m.), it will be La Salle against SWU. And in the mainer (4 p.m.), it will be San Beda against FEU.

    Under a PCCL rule that was instituted last year, the teams that captured the UAAP and NCAA competitions were automatically Final Four berths.

    La Salle overcame a 0-1 deficit in the best-of-three UAAP finals to beat the University of Santo Tomas in three games for its first league title since 2007.

    San Beda downed Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 2-1, in their NCAA titular duel for its fourth consecutive crown and seventh in eight seasons.

    In an all-UAAP affair, Far Eastern U blew a 21-point third-quarter advantage but hung on to dethrone 2012 PCCL titlist UST, 71-68, in the finals of the Luzon-Metro Manila qualifying segment.

    During the qualifier’s semifinals, the Tamaraws ousted the National University Bulldogs, 88-70, in what could be two-time UAAP MVP Bobby Parks’ farewell game in an NU uniform and Eric Altamirano’s final assignment as Bulldogs bench boss, and the UST Growling Tigers crushed the Letran Knights, 77-60, in a battle of second-placers from the UAAP and NCAA, respectively.

    FEU played without backcourt stars Ryan Roose (RR) Garcia and Terrence Romeo, who have moved up to the professional ranks with Globalport in the Philippine Basketball Association. UST, on the other hand, lost Jeric Teng to the pros and missed the services of Aljon Mariano, who recently underwent knee surgery.

    In the Final Four, FEU will also be without Reymark Belo, who along with UST’s Kevin Ferrer, will shortly join the rest of the members of the Philippine national men’s basketball team to the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar (formerly Burma) where the country is the reigning gold medalist.

    Southwestern University exacted revenge against the University of the Visayas, its fiercest nemesis in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI), with a convincing 68-60 victory over the Green Lancers in the PCCL’s Southern Islands championship game.

    Last October, UV dethroned SWU, 3-2, during the best-of-five CESAFI finals in one of the biggest comebacks – if not the biggest – in Cebu collegiate history. The Cobras had been 14-0 in the seven-school tournament, including a 2-0 lead over UV in the finals and 5-0 overall against the same team, when a major disaster struck.

    UV steadily turned the tables around with three straight victories – a come-from-behind, double-overtime 89-82 win in Game Three, a 71-66 success in Game Four and finally, a 64-62 thriller in the decisive Game Five on burly Hernan (Wowie) Escosio’s putback with 0.7 of a second left as the Green Lancers became the first CESAFI team ever to pull off a historic title finish after trailing 0-2 in the final series.

    The reigning CESAFI Most Valuable Player is SWU point guard Mark Jayven Tallo, who toiled with La Salle during the 2012 UAAP wars but flew the coop when he fell out of the Archers’ playmaking rotation with the emergence of then-rookie Thomas Torres that season.

    Now the 5-10 Tallo has a golden opportunity to show up his former team when SWU and La Salle meet on the opening playdate of this year’s PCCL Final Four, which is a single-round series to determine the top two teams that will slug it out in the best-of-three finals.

    SWU is in the PCCL semifinals for the second year in a row. For San Beda, it will be a third straight trip to the Final Four, having finished third the past two years.

    In 2012, UST went through the qualifiers before whipping Ateneo de Manila University (the Blue Eagles sat out this year’s games), 2-1, in the PCCL finals to secure the title for the first time ever. A month before, the Blue Eagles had swept the Growling Tigers in the UAAP finals.

    In the series finale, Teng, who’s now employed by Rain or Shine in the PBA, knocked in five triples and 22 points to catapult UST to an 81-76 success and earned MVP honors in the process.

    The San Beda ...
    Tags: henry liao, pccl Add / Edit Tags
    Philippine Basketball

    Southwestern University, which lost its Cebu School Athletic Foundation Inc (CESAFI) title last month to the University of the Visayas via a 3-2 decision in the best-of-five finals after taking a 2-0 lead, exacted revenge against its fierce Sugbu collegiate basketball rival Wednesday night with a 68-60 victory over the Green Lancers at the Cebu Coliseum to claim the Southern Island title and a Final Four berth in the 2013 Philippine Collegiate Champions League.

    The Cobras thus joined University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) titlist De La Salle University and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion San Beda College into the PCCL Final Four. Only the Luzon-Metro manila representative has yet to be determined.

    SWU is in the PCCL Final Four for the second year in a row. For the San Beda Red Lionbs, it will be their third straight Final Four appearance, having ranked third the past two years.

    Since 2012, the PCCL has given automatic Final Four seats to the UAAP and NCAA champions.

    The teams in the Final Four, which starts next month, will play against each other once to determine the two teams that will duke it out in the best-of-three finals.

    A year ago, the University of Santo Tomas went through the qualifiers before whipping Ateneo de Manila University in a maximum three games in the PCCL finals to capture the crown for the first time ever. A month before, the Blue Eagles swept the Growling in the best-of-three UAAP finals.

    In the series-deciding Game Three, Jeric Teng, now a rookie professional with Rain or Shine in the Philippine Basketball Association, collected five triples and a game-high 22 points to power the Growling Tigers to an 81-76 win and earn MVP honors in the process.

    San Beda, which recently annexed its fourth straight NCAA crown with a 2-1 win over Colegio de San Juan de Letran for a sixth title in seven years, placed third in last year’s PCCL Final Four after defeating Southwestern University, 64-56.
    Tags: henry liao, pccl Add / Edit Tags
    Philippine Basketball

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